As a lawyer for Canada’s Department of Justice in Ottawa, Lawrence David, BA 10, defends the Government of Canada as part of the team of lawyers representing the Attorney General of Canada.
A first-generation Canadian in a single-parent household, David was the first in his family to attend university, but had an inauspicious start as a four-F drop out.
His success at Concordia opened the door to a McGill law degree, a master’s in law from Harvard Law School, clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada under Justice Rosalie Abella, and becoming a dedicated public servant.
Concordia: Tell us about your bumpy start at Concordia.
David: I started in 2004, but dropped out after one semester because I was chasing my adolescent dreams to make music. I dropped out after the withdrawal date, resulting in all Fs on my transcript. Three years later, I decided to go back. The first step was to convince Concordia to let me resume my education despite those glaring Fs.
I took a few classes to demonstrate that I was able to pass. I took a class in communications, one in real estate, one in mass communications and one in Quebec Civil Law.
This class, Quebec Civil Law, changed my life. The professor was Pierre Frégeau and something in my mind just like, “Wow!” Because he was so passionate, the way he explained it, it just connected with me. Then there was Criminal Law with Marcel Danis, BA 65, who used to be in Parliament, and that was my first A plus.
Once I found that path, I was really motivated. The problem was I needed to go to law school — which requires a high GPA, but I still had that stain on my transcript.